(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Tomas Garcia-Mancinas, known as the 'calligraphy bandit,' was arrested Friday.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A man robbed at least 15 Phoenix pharmacies at gunpoint, presenting a note and demanding Oxycontin. His actions have earned him the name of the calligraphy bandit, and police said he's now behind bars.
Don't let his nickname fool you - this guy isn't a master at penmanship, nor is he a master at stealing drugs, since his own note led the cops to him.
"You turn the armed robbery note over, don't bring something that might identify you," said Sgt. Trent Crump with Phoenix police. He said they arrested 25-year-old Tomas Garcia-Mancinas on Friday after one of the notes he left behind pointed to a business that identified him.
"He ended up hitting grocery store pharmacies, CVS, there were a number of different locations that were hit," Crump said. Police say he got more dangerous with each robbery.
"You see a progression of confidence, you see a progression of a lack of fear," Crump said. He said Garcia-Mancinas admitted he got addicted to Oxycontin after he was prescribed the pills following an injury.
"In any college or pharmacy, it's really difficult to train someone in that kind of situation," said Michael Dietrich, an assistant dean at Midwestern University. Because these crimes are so prevalent, they now teach pharmacy students the differences between a real prescription and a forged one, and to follow the rules where they work.
"Most corporations have a policy that if you don't hand over anything, if you act as a hero or if you move to counteract the situation, you can be fired," Dietrich said.
He said these crimes haven't had a chilling effect on admissions yet, but admits it's an unfortunate reality in the business now.
"Most people who start into pharmacy have some pharmacy experience and know it's a possibility," he said.
Garcia-Mancinas faces several charges stemming from the robberies such as weapons charges and kidnapping. He also has several drug charges already filed against him.
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